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Rookie shines against Chalmers

By Tony Mejia Modified: July 11, 2008 at 1:31 pm •  Published: July 11, 2008
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MAITLAND, Fla. — After dominating most of the competition they had seen to this point in summer league action on talent alone, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook and D.J. White had their toughest individual tests in Thursday night's 101-76 loss to Miami.

Oklahoma City fell to 1-3 at the Orlando Summer Pro League, notching their only win in the game Kevin Durant suited up to play.

When roughly a quarter of the players at a summer league aren't going to make a team's roster, it typically makes for ragged play, so you have to look at these results much differently than you would a rare exhibition.

You don't worry as much about poor transition defense as you do about watching players go against other quality players when the opportunity arises, which helps better project how their games are going to translate when the lights really come on.

Westbrook shined against Miami's Mario Chalmers, emerging as the best player on a court that included No. 2 pick Michael Beasley, shooting 7-for-12 from the field and finishing with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists.

White and Green helped contain Beasley on the offensive end, holding him to a team-high 19 points, just over his average through four games.

The duo did a nice job holding their own against the versatile 19-year-old, who led the NCAA in scoring and rebounding as a freshman at Kansas State.

Green did a solid job bothering him with his athleticism and closing out when he could on the perimeter, but it was White who surprised most, going toe-to-toe with the player many expect will be the NBA's most effective rookie this season.

White, the No. 29 pick in this past draft who was acquired from Detroit for a pair of second-rounders, benefited from the allotment of 10 fouls instead of the usual six as part of summer league rules, but all-in-all held his own.

"He presents a lot of tough defensive assignments, but at the same time I think I have my own.

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Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, center, drives between Miami Heat's Anthony Morrow, left, and Marco Killingsworth during an Orlando Pro Summer League game on Thursday. Associated Press


Summer league continues Associated Press

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